Today we’d like to introduce you to Tami Allen.
I am currently a Licensed Professional Counselor and the focus of my practice is helping couples improve intimacy by improving communication skills; however, I work with both men and women individually.
Before becoming a licensed counselor, I was a hairstylist and salon owner for over 25 years. Naturally, people tell their intimate secrets, with trusted confidence, to their hairstylist or barber so I developed the ability to actively listen, problem-solve, and remember details, all of which are required to be an effective therapist.
Around year 15, I started to develop back and leg pain from years and daily hours of standing, which made me realize that I needed to be proactive about my future because I knew I could not stand for the next 30 years until retirement. As such, I explored various career options and settled on becoming a therapist because it seemed to be such a natural transition.
I started my career transition process when my daughter was in middle school so that by the time she graduated from high school, I would be prepared to make the full-time transition to the counseling profession. I was fortunate enough to complete both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees online while working and taking care of my family. I worked for the county mental health agency full-time for six years while continuing to work part-time in the salon. In 2017, I opened my private counseling practice and retired from the hair business but I continued to work full-time with the agency while I worked part-time in my practice.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I was forced to start seeing clients virtually in my practice, which turned out to be a blessing because there was a huge demand for mental health practitioners. This demand allowed me to extend my private practice hours and take on more clients. By December 2020, my agency job became so demanding and stressful and my practice was growing faster than I could keep up with so I decided to take a leap of faith by resigning from the agency and working in my private practice full-time.
Today, I see between 28-35 clients per week and I am working on speaking engagements, writing my first book, developing a podcast, and creating online courses. I now have the time to enjoy life with friends and family and I am so excited that I am finally doing what I do best and that is entrepreneurship.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There are always some degree of obstacles on the way to your destiny; there is no magic carpet ride to success! The most difficult challenge I experienced for an extended period of time was juggling three jobs at one time, school, and taking care of my family but by faith, I made it. In addition, finances were of significant concern during the transition process in addition to maintaining balance in all areas of my life.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The focus of my practice is teaching couples effective communication skills, which seems to be the common denominator of most problems with couples. By teaching couples healthy communication skills, and them putting in the work, they may be able to improve intimacy and rekindle their relationships. This became of significant interest to me because when I was married, my husband and I went to a therapist but they did not specialize in couples therapy and were did not teach us how to communicate effectively so I realized this gap needed to be filled.
Though I love working with couples, I naturally work with both men and women but I particularly love working with men. Men tend to feel a sense of shame about seeking counseling so I work on developing a rapport with them that makes it easy and comfortable for them to open up and share their thoughts. Women tend to have less hesitation in engaging in therapy because talking tends to be a little more natural for women. Regardless of men or women, I work to help them overcome fears, anxiety, and depression and help to improve self-confidence.
One thing that sets me apart is my hours. I see clients all the way up to 8 pm during the week and 6 pm on Saturdays to accommodate the schedule of working professionals. In addition, I not only do I problem-solve but I serve as an accountability partner to ensure my clients have the best chance at achieving his or her goals. Within the scope of my practice, I also provide certified mediation services. I am currently developing my non-profit, Initialing Change, that will focus on providing subsidized counseling service for low-income individuals.
Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
There are actually four principles that are the foundation of my practice:
Integrity: Doing what’s right when no one else is looking.
Consistency: Showing up for my clients on time and being flexible to accommodate their needs, with boundaries.
Empathy: Demonstrating genuine care and compassion for people who are hurting.
Business skills: Knowing how to run and manage all aspects of a business beyond practicing as a therapist.
- Email: Tami@AllenCounselingGroup.com
- Website: https://www.AllenCounselingGroup.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allencounselinggroup/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllenCounseling2017